Adventures in life
from theDesk of
by Pam Strickland, Lt. Colonel –
Several years ago—well, I guess to be more accurate, many, many years ago—a television show entitled Adventures in Paradise used to be on Saturday nights. Anyone remember it? Don’t answer, it will tell your age. The show involved a handsome captain of a ship who sailed the beautiful South Pacific on the schooner, Tiki. Each week, Captain Adam Troy—played by actor Garner McKay—and his crew experienced new dangers and adventures transporting passengers and freight throughout the South Seas. For me—growing up in the Midwest and not knowing what an ocean really looked like except for pictures—this was must-see TV. So began my fascination and love for the Pacific Islands, and of course, the dream to experience these adventures for myself.
Recently, my dream became a reality in my own “Adventures in Micronesia,” as my husband and I traveled to the South Pacific with Majors Edward and Shelley Hill, Hawaiian and Pacific Islands divisional leaders.
We visited the islands of Pohnpei, Chuuk, Guam and Saipan. We first landed on the Atoll of Majuro. As we touched down, it was pretty scary to see water out both sides of the plane. Along with the other islands, this was just a speck of land out in the middle of a vast ocean. I commend those pilots who fly throughout the Pacific Islands; there is absolutely no room for error.
On each of these islands, we shared in the ministry of The Salvation Army with the officers and local leaders. Major Hill enrolled several soldiers in Pohnpei and Chuuk. The young people blessed us with their enthusiastic and joyful singing. We visited the Army facilities on each island, and thank the Lord for the wonderful work that is being done on a daily basis by dedicated officers and employees. God is definitely at work throughout the Federated States of Micronesia.
Scripture reminds me of others who shared in various adventures—some good and some not so good. Lately, my devotions have taken me through the Old Testament. I get so frustrated with the children of Israel, especially when they left Egypt. Their adventure took them into the wilderness. They had a great leader in Moses. They had God guiding them with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. When the cloud moved, they moved. When it lingered, they camped. They had food provided on a daily basis, and their clothes never wore out. Yet, they complained about everything. They complained about the tedious travel. The blast of a trumpet meant they were on the march again. They complained about the manna; they wanted meat, fish, onions, garlic—all the good food they had back in Egypt, back in slavery. Their complaining indicated their ingratitude, impatience and lack of faith. They were a people who were faithless, disobedient and only saw the obstacles instead of the opportunities. They should have been rejoicing because they were going from Egyptian bondage to God’s promised land in Canaan. Obedience to God’s will is not always convenient, but it is always profitable. They obviously did not believe the Lord when he asked the question in Numbers 11:23, Is the Lord’s arm too short? Human impossibility gives us the opportunity of seeing God’s awesome power at work.
God has a great life adventure for each of us. Sometimes it involves unchartered territory, such as a wilderness experience. Whatever it may be, we can trust that God’s arm is never too short to supply us with the equipment to make it to the Promised Land.